Being aware of risk factors that can cause slip-and-fall accidents should be a major concern in all types of facilities. According to forensic reviews of dozens of slip-and-fall injury accidents, these are the 10 most commonly associated risk factors for slips and falls:
- Surface composition: Refers to the type of floor surface and its slip resistance when dry and properly cleaned (Some hard-surface floors may be slip-resistant when dry, but slippery when wet or soiled.)
- Foreign substances: Such as ice, grease, or water
- Surface conditions: Raised or recessed edges, loose carpeting, soiling and overall cleanliness of the floor
- Surface changes: For instance, walking from a carpeted floor to a tile floor
- Level changes: Surface level changes; unexpected slopes or raises of three steps or less
- Obstructions: For example, extension cords, hoses and other foreign items
- Visibility: Poor lighting, but also glare, shadows, bright lights or color contrasts, which can impede visibility
- Human factors: Different individual physical capabilities and physical challenges, shoe types and familiarity with a walk area
- Stairs: Falls from stairs, which are defined as more than three steps. These typically result in the most serious injuries.
- Unusual features: Out-of-the-ordinary conditions that might distract a walker, such as loud noises, strobe or flashing lights, etc.
“Of particular concern is ‘surface conditions’ of the floor,” says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac. “Conventional floor mopping methods can spread soils over floors and create a slippery situation, changing the floor’s surface condition. Selecting alternative floor cleaning systems can enhance cleaning results and lower risks for slip-and-fall accidents.”
See tips for preventing slip-and-fall accidents.